Two years ago, a New York man’s pet ownership came into question when criminal charges were filed against him because of the animals he kept in his home. State laws allow residents to possess certain household pets. However, in this case, involvement with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) led to court.
In August 2018, officials removed nearly 300 reptiles from the man’s Allegany home. Reports suggest this included multiple species of turtles, including two endangered box turtles, six venomous Gila monsters and three poisonous king cobras.
Numerous counts of illegal activity
Reportedly the biggest animal seizure case in state history, this situation resulted in:
- Three felony charges of first-degree reckless endangerment from the snakes’ potential for personal injuries
- Six misdemeanor charges of second-degree reckless endangerment from the grave risk associated with the Gila monsters
- 37 counts of unlawful possession of wildlife
Nearly two years after the removal of unapproved reptiles from the animal owner’s residence came his scheduled indictment. However, the district attorney’s office delayed action beyond the permissible timeline.
Legal procedures can make or break a case
Due to the DA’s lack of timely trial preparation established by Criminal Procedure Law, the pet owner’s attorney, Peter M. Kooshoian, filed a motion to dismiss the case. The judge’s granting of this motion was not only a win for Rosenthal, Kooshoian & Lennon, LLP but also the accused individual.
No matter the circumstances, a speedy trial is an American right worthy of protection. This case is an example of how the law can serve justice for the accused.